C.P.I. for food and beverages edges higher in December

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WASHINGTON — The Consumer Price Index for food and beverages inched up 0.1% in December, finishing at 237.8, which compared with 237.6 in November and 237.8 in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. The food index also moved up 0.1% in December, finishing at 237.9, up from 237.6 in November.

Within food at home, the six major grocery store food group indexes were mixed in December. Four of the six posted increases during the month.

The major gainer during December was the index for nonalcoholic beverages, which rose 0.5%. The index had declined 0.2% in November.

For the second month in a row, the index for dairy and related products rose 0.4%, while meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 0.3%.

Also advancing 0.3% in the month was other food at home. The index had increased 0.5% in November.

Partially offsetting the increases was a sharp decline in the index for fruits and vegetables, which fell 1.5% in December after falling 0.7% in November. The index for cereals and bakery products also was lower, declining 0.1% in the month.

The food at home index was unchanged in December, its second straight month of flat pricing and the third time in four months it has registered no change.

The overall Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% in December. Over the past 12 months, the index has increased 1.5%.
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